He denied that "Prufrock" was from furniture. He claimed he just
liked the sound, and that that was the reason for many of his
names. It is in an interview in 1962. I don't have the citation here,
but it is listed in Gallop and Southam references it, though I think
for a different reason.
I agree with you about "furnished flat" people as Tom and Viv were
themselves. I am not sure that means, however, that he had no
snobbery about it and was not rather dismayed to find himself in
that category. He certainly did not grow up as one.
On 15 May 2002, at 15:41, Jennifer Formichelli <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> What did Eliot deny and which interview? The phrase occurs in Arnold
> Bennett's journal. It is slightly awkward, however, as, although it seems he
> was talking about SA, Ackroyd writes that Eliot had thanked Lewis for his
> encouragement with SA in 1923 (he also hinted to Morrell that he was doing
> SA in that period), and Bennett asked after the publication of the two
> fragments in 1926 and 1927 what happened to the verse play. I think he began
> the first Fragment 1923 and resumed work on it in 1924-5; the second I
> believe he was still writing in 1926-7 (he reviewed a book of American slang
> in 1926 which may account for the precedence of slang in this part).
> However, I would be interested to know if Eliot denied using the phrase
> 'furnished flat sort of people'. In the drafts he begins with 'Doris and
> Dusty in a furnished flat.' The TWL drafts have some material on furnished
> flat sorts: for instance, the very specific detail that the typist bought
> her fake print in Oxford Street. As you would do, it seems, were you a
> typist in the City in the early 20s.
> I disagree with Carroll's notion of 'trailor trash'. It is not that sort at
> all. There is a gentrification to it, even if false (like the silk hat, you
> might say, which signifies something about the man who wears it, even if not
> what he wants it to signify). The Eliots, I believe, lived in a few
> furnished flats.
> Eliot had some ideas about working class British people that resurface over
> and over again in The Criterion (he was one of them, in fact, and told Pound
> in 22 or so that his ideas about English society differed because he had
> spent most of his time with business, and not literary, types, something
> also creatively transmuted in TWL): in 1930, he laments the precedence of
> cinemas and wireless over fresh air, walks and cooking; and describes golf,
> long weekends, and motoring on Sundays as the present 'standard of living'.
> All of which surface, deprecatingly, in Coriolan and The Rock. I reckon that
> British working class--the crowds flowing over London Bridge, which he
> described as 'city clerks', meaning I think, 'City clerks', in his 1950
> talk, 'What Dante Means to Me'--was what he had in mind.
> But I cannot quite grasp the essence of this comment. Hayward, in his TWL
> notes, is very fine on these matters, telling us for instance that The
> Metropole, in Brighton, was not 'exactly a Family Hotel!'
> Conversation on this matter is appreciated.
> Yours, Jennifer
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2002 2:35 PM
> Subject: Re: Furnished flat sort of people
> > For what it's worth (probably not much), Eliot explicitly denied that in a
> > 1962 interview.
> > Nancy
> > Date sent: Wed, 15 May 2002 06:36:48 -0400
> > Send reply to: [log in to unmask]
> > From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: Furnished flat sort of people
> > > Jennifer Formichelli wrote:
> > >
> > > > And to give an example of what I mean, I would be interested in
> > > > talking about what Eliot might have meant when he said he wanted to
> > > > write a drama about '(furnished flat sort of people'). This drama
> > > > became Sweeney Agonistes.
> > This most likely has no meaning for the discussion you want Jennifer
> > but the name Prufrock may have come from the name of a furniture
> > dealer.
> > Regards,
> > Rick Parker